Episode 119 – Powered by the Apocalypse

July 15, 2017

Powered by the Apocalypse: Using Apocalypse World to Outline and Draft Your Own RPG 

Special episode, recorded online.

Presented by Meguey Baker, Vincent Baker, and Jason Pitre.

Apocalypse World offers a powerful, flexible framework you can use to outline, draft, and potentially finish your own role playing games. Dozens of creators, both experienced designers and first-timers, have used it with great success, and you can too. It’s not a game system, it’s an easy approach to game system design, a reliable way to get your creative vision quickly into a playable form. In this episode, we discuss apocalypse World’s philosophy and foundation, describe the fit and purpose of each of its systems, and point out fruitful ways to build on them, contradict them, repurpose them, subvert them, and go far beyond them.

A copy of the presentation that goes along with the episode is Available Here.

This panel was originally presented at Metatopia 2016, but technical problems at the audio meant that we had to re-record the discussion. It’s an excellent one though, where we discuss issues of the structure behind apocalypse, where the heavy design work needs to happen, the decision points on move construction, and how consent/power fit into the context of the framework.

Enjoy and share this episode freely!

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Episode 115 – Sex in Games

June 17, 2017

Sex in Games

Recorded at Breakout Con 2017

Presented by Moyra Turkington, Jacqueline Bryk, Alex Roberts, and moderator Emily Griggs.

From the Ramayana to Romeo and Juliet, love and passion are at the heart of some of the most timeless stories ever told. So, how do we explore these themes in roleplaying games? How do we as players and GMs help each other have fun and stay safe? What systems bring sex and romance to the forefront? What’s that thing larpers are doing with their hands? Your panelists will answer all these questions, and many more.

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Episode 110 – Converting Between Systems

April 22, 2017

Game to Game: Converting Between Systems

Recorded at Metatopia 2015RPG-Design-Panelcast-sml

Presented by John Adamus and Paul Stefko

If you play more than one RPG, you will eventually want to use material from one system in another. Or maybe your favorite game has been updated to a new awesome edition, but you want to keep using your old books too. What should you keep in mind when converting RPG rules and adventures from one game to another? How much (or how little) work do you need to do?

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Episode 105 – Cultural Mechanics

January 14, 2017

Cultural Mechanics

Recorded at Metatopia 2015

Presented by Jason Pitre, Julia Ellingboe, and Mark Diaz Truman.

Games are part of our cultures, and the rules we create reflect our own backgrounds. In this roundtable, we explore how mechanics can reflect and/or interrogate culture. How can mechanics explore other people’s experiences? What assumptions do we bring to the game-design table?

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Episode 95 – Gearheads

September 18, 2016

Gearheads: Clever RPG Mechanics

Recorded at Gencon 2016

Presented by Jason Pitre, and Emily Care Boss

Roleplaying game design is a hotbed of innovation, and this panel is a place to talk about some of the latest and greatest mechanics for games. We will talk about fronts, countdown clocks, gm-less play, advantage, and other mechanics to sink your teeth into.

Links and Games!

  1. Romance Trilogy, including Breaking the Ice, Shooting the Moon, and Under my Skin, by Emily Care Boss (http://www.blackgreengames.com/lcn/2016/7/24/romance-trilogy)
  2. Indie Groundbreaker Awards (http://www.igdnonline.com/indie-groundbreaker-awards-winners/ )
  3. 14 Days, by Hannah Shaffer (http://makebigthings.com/14-days-a-game-about-life-with-migraines/ )
  4. 183 Days, by James Stuart and Sara Williamson (http://www.drivethrucards.com/product/144510/183-Days)
  5. Fall of Magic, by Ross Cowman (http://heartofthedeernicorn.com/product/fall-of-magic-scroll-edition/ )
  6. 10 Candles, by Stephen Dewey (http://cavalrygames.com/)
  7. Dread, by Epidiah Ravachol (https://dreadthegame.wordpress.com/about-dread-the-game/)
  8. The The Dread Geas Of Duke Vulku by Epidiah Ravachol (http://www.worldswithoutmaster.com/the-dread-geas-of-duke-vulku/ )
  9. Microscope and Kingdom by Ben Robbins (http://www.lamemage.com/)
  10. Downfall, by Caroline Hobbs (https://lessthanthreegames.com/downfall/)
  11. Usagi Yojimbo, by Sanguine Productions (http://drivethrurpg.com/product/50310/USAGI-YOJIMBO-ROLEPLAYING-GAME-Legacy)
  12. Blood Red Sands, by Ralph Mazza (http://www.galileogames.com/blood-red-sands/)
  13. Burning Wheel, by Luke Crane (https://www.burningwheel.com/)
  14. Apocalypse World, by Meguey and Vincent Baker (http://apocalypse-world.com/)
  15. Dungeon World, by Sage Latorra and Adam Koebel (http://www.dungeon-world.com/)
  16. Montseigeur 1244, by Frederik J. Jensen (http://thoughtfulgames.com/montsegur1244/ )
  17. Epyllion, by Marissa Kelly (http://www.magpiegames.com/epyllion/
  18. Posthuman Pathways, by Jason Pitre (http://www.genesisoflegend.com/product/posthuman-pathways/)
  19. Play with Intent, by Emily Care Boss and Matthijs Holter (https://playwithintent.wordpress.com/)
  20. Nightwitches by Jason Morningstar (http://bullypulpitgames.com/)
  21. The Warren by Marshall Miller (http://bullypulpitgames.com/)
  22. Monsterhearts, by Avery Alder (http://buriedwithoutceremony.com/monsterhearts/)
  23. Sagas of the Icelanders, by Gregor Vulga (http://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/product.php?productid=19311&page=1)
  24. Headspace, by Mark Richardson (http://www.greenhatdesigns.com/?project=head-space)
  25. Dream Askew, by Avery Alder (http://buriedwithoutceremony.com/dream-askew/ )
  26. The Quiet Year, by Avery Alder (http://buriedwithoutceremony.com/the-quiet-year/ )
  27. Steal Away Jordan, by Julia Ellingboe (http://www.lulu.com/shop/julia-bond-ellingboe/steal-away-jordan/ebook/product-17470217.html )
  28. Blades in the Dark, by John Harper (http://www.onesevendesign.com/ and http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/170689/Blades-in-the-Dark-Digital-Edition-Early-Access )
  29. Swords without Master, by Epidiah Ravachol (http://www.worldswithoutmaster.com )
  30. Mars Colony, by Tim Koppang http://www.tckroleplaying.com/marscolony/
  31. Misericorde, by Emily Care Boss (http://www.blackgreengames.com/shop/misericorde-pdf)
  32. Fools Journey, by Stentor Danielson (http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/154421/The-Fools-Journey)
  33. Spark Roleplaying Game, Jason Pitre (http://www.genesisoflegend.com/product/spark/)
  34. Bubblegumshoe, Evil Hat Productions (http://www.evilhat.com/home/)
  35. Seven Wonders, by Pelgrane Press (http://site.pelgranepress.com/index.php/seven-wonders-a-story-games-anthology-2/)

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Episode 89 – Game Mechanics as Social Engineering

July 30, 2016

Game Mechanics as Social Engineering & Social Engineering as Game Design

Recorded at Metatopia 2015

Presented by Jason Morningstar & John Stavropoulos.

Can a game’s mechanics influence player behavior? Evidence – from XP-grubbing to sophisticated and subtle systems for using player agency to adjust real-world habits – suggests it can. Join Jason Morningstar and John Stavropoulos for a stimulating and perhaps surprising discussion on this topic. Bring your own examples to share!

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Episode 85: Repurposing Mechanics

July 1, 2016

Recycle! Using Material From Other Games Ethically and Effectively

Recorded at Metatopia 2015

Presented by Justin Jacobson, Cam Banks, Jeff Tidball & Andre La Roche.

At one time or another, every designer gains inspiration from existing works. Whether it’s snagging a single mechanic or repurposing an entire game with one crucial tweak. What are some tricks for finding that inspiration and using it in interesting ways? What are the ethical and legal considerations when using material? When does inspiration cross the line into plagiarism or, worse, infringement? What sort of attribution should you use?

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Episode 84: Patterns and Shapes in Larp Design

June 24, 2016

Patterns and Shapes in Larp Design

Recorded at Metatopia 2015

Presented by  J Li and Jason Morningstar

From spatial layout to information management, this workshop lays out some of the architectural and psychological principles behind LARP design as craft. What’s the difference between a three person conversation and a four person conversation? What does time pressure do to plot? How do you change the outcome of a game by placing chairs? Join us in exploring the fascinating complexity of building stories out of spontaneous human behavior, and playing with the tools we can use to shape it.

Associated information is available at larppatterns.org

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Episode 73 – Opacity and Transparency

January 18, 2016

Opacity, Transparency, and Player Incentives in Your Strategy Board Game

Recorded at Metatopia 2014

Presented by Gil Hova

Do people understand what’s going on in your game? Not just the rules, but can they tell who’s winning? If they should watch out for a dangerous player? If they know exactly how their move will impact their next few turns? Join designer Gil Hova as he discusses transparency and opacity in strategy board games. We will discuss what makes a game mechanism transparent or opaque, how they work (or fail) in existing games, and how to use them to incentivize players to make interesting plays.

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Episode 71 – Explicit vs Role-Based Knowledge

November 28, 2015

Explicit vs Role-Based Knowledge

Recorded at Metatopia 2014

Presented by Clark Valentine, Shane Harsch and Evan Torner.

This seminar poses the question of whether it is possible to support a detailed, knowledge-rich environment for an RPG without creating a situation where the character that should know how to do something actually does not. Where is the balance between detail and role?

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